The Law Society of Upper Canada Considers Name Change

Julian Falconer, Bencher, and Chair of the Law Society’s Strategic Communications Steering Group, was quoted in several legal trade articles this week over the issue of the Law Society of Upper Canada changing its name.

Falconer stated in the Law Times, “Our name matters just like any name matters and we want to ensure that that name, while respecting traditions, also reflects who we are today, not just who we were 220 years ago.”

In the Lawyers Daily article Falconer stated, “I do a lot of work for Indigenous communities and recognize that there are implications to the term ‘Upper Canada,’ there are implications to the time period, to that particular chapter of our Canadian history. There are also positive things about the tradition, so that’s what’s got to be debated by the law society. It’s certainly part of reconciliation. Part of the recognition of our obligations to attempt to rectify issues with Indigenous peoples is to make sure that we’re accessible, to make sure that doors are open and not closed. To make sure the messages we send are positive ones and messages that people can relate to.”

“When I’m in the North doing my work, you can imagine how much of a challenge communicating who the Law Society of Upper Canada is. It simply doesn’t resonate with certain sectors of the population. So just speaking for myself, that’s an issue, but that doesn’t mean that will ultimately be the direction that the benchers go. That will be up to them to make that call.”

Falconer went on to say that the steering group is still in the “formulating stage…there are a whole series of steps as a regulator we need to look at to strengthen our ability to service the public and to truly represent the public interest. It’s not just the name change. It’s a whole series of measures we’re working on. The name change is tied to the LSUC’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s mandate. He said as a regulator the LSUC is expected, and legislatively mandated, to regulate in the public interest. The public includes Indigenous communities, which he said for far too long have not been properly considered.”

In the News

A name change may be up for discussion at LSUC    The Lawyer’s Daily June 23, 2017

Law Society of Upper Canada mulls name change    The Law Times, June 19, 2017

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